MUMBAI: When Star Plus was working out its turnaround plan as early as 2000 after breaking away from Zee Telefilms, it was Rupert Murdoch who decided on the magic figure of ‘Rs 1 crore’ as prize money to attract mass audiences across the country to the game show Kaun Banega Crorepati (KBC), hosted by Bollywood legend Amitabh Bachchan.
Star Plus raised the prize money bar to Rs 20 million in the second and third editions. But it is now Sony TV which has upped the ante, announcing that the fourth version of the game-based reality show would give away a jackpot amount of Rs 50 million to the winner answering 13 questions.
Announcing the launch of the show on 11 October, Bachchan said, “Unlike previous seasons which had a total of 15 questions to be answered to reach Rs 10 million, the new version will throw just 12 questions to the hot seat occupant to reach Rs 10 million. And the one who will be able to win the 13th question will win the jackpot.”
The Indian adaptation of the international blockbuster “Who Wants to Be A Millionaire” will run from Monday to Thursday at 9 pm on Sony. The other shows on Indian television that have had astronomical prize money as give aways were Sawal 10 Crore Ka on Zee and Dus Ka Dum on Sony, both giving away Rs 100 million as prize money.
Said MSM COO N.P.Singh, “With new features which make the journey to become crorepati even more exciting, KBC 2010 is going to provide whole some Entertainment with fun, knowledge and humour to the entire family. Big gets even bigger as the participants will get an opportunity to play for the jackpot worth Rs 5 crore. Sony Entertainment television has been on an upward curve in the last year with ratings from 80 to 180 GRPs. KBC is going to drive the next level of growth for the channel.”
Among the other new features and innovations which viewers will see in KBC are:
Fastest finger first contestants get to stay for a week
Expert help: An expert present in the studio each day to help the contestant in his march towards a crore by using the ‘Ask the Expert’ lifeline.
Double Dip: The participant can shoose to use Double Dip lifeline – this allows the contestant to give two answers, so if the first answer is incorrect, the contestant can pick one among the options left as his second answer.
Phone-a-friend: The viewers get to see the image of the friend when the contestant uses the lifeline.
Time Clock: The contestant will have to answer question one and two in 30 seconds and questions three to six within 45 seconds. There is no limit on time from question 7 onwards.
“The show will also have two special weeks on celebrity as contestants. The details will be divulged later,” Sony business head Ajit Thakur said.
KBC4 will be up against the celeb-driven reality show Big Boss on Colors and Akshay Kumar hosted Masterchef on Star Plus.
Sony is targeting advertising revenue of Rs 1 billion from the 36 episodes of the game show. Cadbury and Idea are the presenting sponsors of KBC 4.
Meanwhile, the sponsors that have come on board as associate partners are namely Axis Bank, LG, Tata Motors, Sony Bravia and Videocon.